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March 24, 2019

SIR's GEMS Program Seeks to Foster Diversity in Interventional Radiology

March 24, 2019—The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) announced a new program to support diversity in interventional radiology (IR) by providing a travel grant for medical students from diverse backgrounds who desire to participate in a visiting clerkship in IR outside of their home institution. The Grants for Education of Medical Students (GEMS) program was introduced by Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, at the SIR 2019 annual scientific meeting being held March 23–28 in Austin, Texas.

According to Dr. Matsumoto, the GEMS program is intended to attract medical students from diverse backgrounds to IR by providing scholarships to fund visiting clerkships/rotations in the specialty.

Students who are seeking to be the first generation of physicians in their families and identify as being from racial or ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the medical field, women, LGBTQ, and/or those who come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds are eligible to apply for these scholarships.

Dr. Matsumoto, former SIR President, commented in the press release, “GEMS will allow medical students to gain an in-depth understanding of IR through a more personal experience in a new environment. As a prelude to the residency application and interview process, GEMS will enable selected third- and fourth-year medical students a chance to develop early mentoring relationships in IR and to broaden their professional networks. This program will facilitate connections between IR training programs and the next generation of interventional radiologists who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend these clerkships.”

Current SIR President M. Victoria Marx, MD, stated, “SIR and SIR Foundation are incredibly grateful to Dr. Matsumoto, his family, and our inaugural industry sponsors—Boston Scientific, Penumbra, Siemens Healthineers, Gore, and Cook—for supporting this important initiative to engage diverse groups of medical students in IR. Through this program, they are helping us achieve our vision to increase the diversity of interventional radiologists to better represent the patient populations we serve.”

Finally, SIR Foundation Chair Jeremy C. Durack, MD, noted, “Diversity brings new ideas and innovation, and GEMS will be an integral program in our efforts to ensure that IR stays at the forefront of medicine by bringing the brightest minds from all backgrounds into the field. We are thankful to the Matsumoto family and our industry colleagues for their commitment to helping us increase the diversity and inclusiveness in the specialty and to further enhancing the exciting future of IR."

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